The subsidiary of the MDU Resource Group, Inc., intends to retrieve back-to-date aggregate electric generation units in Montana and North Dakota within the next two or three years.
The subsidiary, Montana-Dakota Utilities, said it will build a new cycle cycle natural gas combustion to meet cost effectively to its customers' needs.
An analysis by the company revealed that two plants were aging by retirement generation and the construction of the natural gas combustion turbine. The power of deciding to stop the coal plants of the low-cost power available on the market, due to low-cost natural gas and wind resources, as well as rising costs to the operate these facilities.
The late 2020 retirement for the Lewis & Clark Station in Sidney, Montana, and about 2021 units 1 and 2 is expected at Heskett Station in Mandan, North Dakota. These dates may be affected by a bankruptcy departure awaiting the company's coal supplier.
The company has commenced the development process to build a peak 88-MW cycle cycle unit at the Heskett Station site, and this fall is expected to be a preliminary decision on a tough request with the North Dakota Public Service Commission.
The new generation capacity was selected as part of the Montana-Dakota integrated resource plan. The company said that Heskett's second combustion turbine will be cost-effective since the site has an existing natural gas infrastructure and supply that serves an existing combustion unit that went online in 2014.
"Our main objective is to provide our customers with a safe, reliable and cost-effective service," said Nicole Kivisto, president and CEO of Montana-Dakota. "The IRP process helps us make our decisions to achieve these goals. Heskett and Lewis & Clark have met this goal for many years, but our analysis shows that these units are not more competitive at cost to our customers. "
It is hoped that the total cost of construction and operation of new combustion turbines, coupled with market purchases, will be about half the total cost of running Heskett and Lewis & Clark coal units, according to the company .
Heskett's coal was first launched online in 1954 and the second unit in 1963. They combine for 100 MW power. Lewis & Clark went online in 1958 and provides 44 MW of power. If the company complies with the proposed retirement timeline, the plants will be aged 58-67 years.
"Plants are good for our customers, providing low cost energy for many years, operating almost twice as long as they were anticipated when they were built in the mid 1950s and early 1960s," which said Kivisto. "The age of the plants, the low-cost competition on the market, and the ongoing cost of operating all the plants with the plants has been too expensive to work much longer."